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"Smith turns 90 this year, so don't carp about the several previously collected poems in this book. Instead, appreciate the book's exquisite arrangement and the concern of the collection as a whole with linking eras of life and art."

"In this utterly delightful book, variety is matched by insight."

"Few poets go on writing well into old age, but the Louisiana-born William Jay Smith is one of them. Still going strong, his poetry, marked by great technical skill, is witty and satiric, poignant and humane... Smith's poetry offers sensuous pleasure and intellectual delight."

"Words by the Water is very much recommended reading for poetry fans."